Stir-Fried Mussels with Holy Basil

This incredibly fragrant and delicious stir fried mussels can be enjoyed as a main course served along hot steamy rice or with a fresh French loaf to soak all the wonderful juices.

Here I’m using previously frozen mussels that are in it’s half shell. They come in a 1½ lb container. You can definitely use fresh ones. Make sure you scrub them thoroughly and discard the open ones. It will also require just a little more cooking time. I am also using the tender Holy Basil which has a spicier and sweeter than Sweet Basil but you can also use regular Basil known as Thai Basil. Another key ingredient in this dish is the roasted chili paste. It is packed with many tasty ingredients like sugar, shallot, garlic, soyabean oil, dried chile, fish sauce, dried shrimp, msg, paprika.

While I made this mussels you can also substitute this with chicken or even pork.

Stir Fried Mussels with Holy Basil (makes 2-3 servings)
(Cha Krum Jompous Tear Maress Prov) ឆារគ្រុំចំពុះទាម្រៈព្រៅ

Video Tutorial:

Ingredients
1 tablespoon oil
2 teaspoons minced garlic
4 bird’s eye chilies, slit in half length-wise (discard seeds if you don’t like spicy)
2 tablespoons roasted chili paste
1 tablespoon palm sugar
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 cup holy basil leaves
1½ lb mussels

Method:
To ease the flow of cooking, combine palm sugar, fish sauce and roasted chili paste together. Mix thoroughly and set aside.

Heat oil in a pan until hot. Add minced garlic followed by chilies. Quickly stir until fragrant.

Add mussels and stir to coat with garlic and chili oil. Allow them to hang out another 2-3 minutes. Stir occasionally.

Add in roasted chili mixture. Stir until sauce thickens, about 3-4 minutes. However, if it’s too dry, you can add water or stock, 1 tablespoon at a time. Taste and adjust seasonings, if necessary.

Finally, add the holy basil leaves. Give it a couple more stir and remove from heat.

To serve, slide mussels and sauce onto a serving platter, mound them into a pile. Garnish with fresh sprigs of holy basil. ENJOY!

Vietnamese-Style Sour Soup with Shrimp


I’ve made Vietnamese-Style Sour Soup ,various time but finally this time I took some time to document my recipe in addition to making a cooking video to share. This is my Cambodian take on a very popular Vietnamese soup known as Canh Chua Tom or in Khmer called Somlaw Machew Youn Bongkong សម្លម្ជូរយួនបង្កង. Light and refreshing but yet yeild a lot of flavors from the fresh herbs and vegetable. Fried garlic topped at the end not only add a wonderful aroma but a hint of a smokey flavor.

Here I use plump black tiger prawns which cook fairly quickly. You can also use fish, chicken, or pork ribs. Meats take a bit longer time to cook. You would want to make sure that those meats are at least 90% cook before you start adding vegetables. Otherwise the vegetables will get mushy or soggy while waiting for the meat to cook.

Moreover, there are an abundance of vegetables you can use. I suggest you go with what you like. I’ve made this soup using orkra, elephant ear (kdard), and even water spinach (trokoun).

Vietnamese-Style Sour Soup with Shrimp (makes 3-4 servings)
(Somlaw Machew Youn Bongkong) សម្លម្ជូរយួនបង្កង

Video Tutorial:


Ingredients
2 tablespoons oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic
3½ cups water
1/2 tablespoon sugar
1½ tablespoons tamarind soup base
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 (16 oz) can quail eggs (yield about 18 eggs)
20 black tiger shrimp, peeled & devein (about 1 lb)
3 cups sliced fresh pineapple
1 jalapeños, sliced
1 small shallot, sliced
2 cups diced tomatoes
1 cup bean sprout
1 cup chopped sawtooth herb and/or rice paddy herb

Method:
Heat oil in a small sauce pan/pot. Test oil with a piece of garlic. If it sizzle right away then it’s ready. Add the remainder and fry until brown. DO NOT WALK AWAY! Garlic brown very fast. Stir it so they don’t clump. Once the garlic are fried, strain and set aside. Reserve the oil for another dish like fried eggs or sauteed vegetables.

Next, in a pot bring water to a rolling boil. Add sugar, tamarind soup base and fish sauce. Give it a stir to combine.

Add quail eggs gently so the soup doesn’t splash on you. Technically, the eggs are cooked so you are just warming them up again.

Add black tiger shrimp, sliced pineapples, jalapeños, shallots, diced tomatoes, bean sprouts and chopped herb. Give it a stir and allow it to come back to a boil.

Ladle to a severing bowl and E-N-J-O-Y!

Cambodian Green Mango Salad with Dried Shrimp


One of the highlights during my first trip to Cambodia back in 2006 was FOOD. Among the many authentic Cambodian dishes I sampled one particular stood out. In Battambang Province my Parents, relatives and I went out for dinner. I didn’t know what to order so one of my cousin suggested that I order Ngorm Makok (Ambarella Salad). I usually eat Makok pickled in a jar with salt and chili but never fresh and in the form of a salad. I gave it a go and within a few minutes the salad was on the table. The image and the flavors still linger in my mind until this day. It was so delicious! Then when I returned home I been wanting to recreate that dish but never had a chance to do so until my recent trip to Georgia. When I was there I popped my friend’s fridge opened and survey what was there. In the freezer I saw a bag of smoked fish that came from Cambodia. I immediately thought about my Ngorm Makok. It’s difficult to get my hands on fresh Makok in the states so I replace it with crispy and tart green mango. My recipe was based loosely on flavors I could recall from my 2006 trip along with my experience with making Cambodian salad. In no time I had my green mango salad with Cambodian smoked fish on the dinner table. Me and my friends all enjoyed it so much that I made it twice during my 5 days stay.

I don’t have Cambodian Smoked Fish at the moment so I just left it out and use dried shrimps instead. By pre-soaking the dried shrimp it will wash away the grainy stuff that might of been attached to them. It will also expand in size. I then toast to seal in the outer layer and pound it lightly with a mortar and pestle. This will keep it nice and crunchy and it doesn’t get soggy too quickly once it’s tossed in the salad. Chopped roasted peanuts are a great addition too but I totally forgot to include it this time.

Cook’s Note: If possible, try to buy the green mango in the vegetable section of the Asian Supermarket. The skin will have a light green color. The shape will be bit flat and oval. The flesh tend to be white or pale yellow. These variety has a crisp texture an a tart taste. Do not use the mangoes in the fruit section. Even though the outer peel may look green and hard to the touch, their flesh will still have that yellow color and tend to be soft and mushy when you cut into it unlike those you find at the Asian stores.

Cambodian Green Mango Salad with Dried Shrimp (makes 2 servings)
(Ngorm Svay Kjey Nung Bongkea Kream) ញុំាស្វាយខ្ចីនិងបង្គាក្រៀម

Video Tutorial:

Ingredients
1 medium size green mango, skin peeled and shredded
1 tablespoon lime juice (1 lime)
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 teaspoon sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup dried shrimp, pre-soak in water about 30 mins
1 teaspoon chopped fresh bird’s eye chili (optional)
1 small shallot, thinly sliced
¼ cup fresh chopped herbs (mint, green onions, sawtooth, or basil)
2 tablespoons chopped roasted peanuts

Method:
Heat a small pan and lightly oil it. Add dried shrimps and give it a quick stir. Fry it to give them a nice crispy texture. Transfer to a mortar and pestle and lightly pound it to break up the fibers. This will allow the shrimp to absorb the flavors from the dressing but also retain that nice and crunchy texture. Set aside.

In a large bowl mix together lime juice, fish sauce, sugar, salt and fresh chili.

Add shallots, green mango, dried shrimp and fresh herbs. Toss the salad to combine.

Transfer to a serving plate and E-N-J-O-Y!

Cambodian Lime-Marinated Beef Salad


Here is another Classic Cambodian dish that is popular among Cambodian household. Marinated beef is tossed with fresh herbs and different vegetables. Chopped peanuts provide that extra nutty crunchy taste. My addition of jalapeños added a nice kick to every bite. It does look a bit similar to the Thai Style Larb with Beef. The addition of Pahok juice makes this distinctively Cambodian, but it’s optional.

What prompted me to make this dish was the beautiful bright red radishes that were on sale this week at the market. I’ve never worked with these beautiful things before but I bought it anyways because it was only .50 cent per bunch. Then I remembered that my Mother had use it in several of her salad recipes. I went to my cookbook collection and settled with The Elephant Walk Cookbook.

As I flipped through The Elephant Walk Cookbook I came across the recipe for Lime-Marinated Beef with Bean Sprouts and Mint. Author Longteine De Monteiro & Katherine Neustadt stated in the book “I fear that this recipe has been lost to the younger generation, and I would like to help restore it.” Her message did get across to me. My recipe is adapt loosely from this cookbook. I added a few additional ingredients, tweaked the measurements to fit my taste and also adjust my method of cooking the raw beef.

To be honest this was my very first time making it on my own plus eating this classic dish even though my Mother made had made it several times when I grew up. Mostly for my Father and his friends when they come over to practice traditional music for Cambodian weddings. This was way back in the late 80s. Now the gathering are smaller and less often. Perhaps it’s because the thought of eating raw beef doesn’t sound appealing to us kids even when we were told that it is technically cooked once it’s been cut into paper thin slice and marinated in lime juice. Still, we shook our heads and turned away. Instead we made fried eggs and poured soy seasoning sauce on top to go with our hot steamy rice. Which is what I did (again) as a back-up plan when I made this.

I was hesitant to taste my salad at first even when I used a different cooking method. But after a bite with my eyes tightly close, man oh man, it was G-O-O-D. Now I wish I had done it a long time. This dish is fairly easy to make and most of the cooking time goes to prepping. IMO, the meat can be prepared in many ways. You can grill it before making the salad or pan fry it after marinating. It’s is totally up to you. That is one of the perks of cooking your own dish.

Cambodian Lime-Marinated Beef Salad (makes 2-3 servings)
(Plear Sachko) ភ្លាសាច់គោ
adapt from The Elephant Walk Cookbook

Video Tutorial:


Ingredients
½ cup lime juice
3 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon small stalk lemongrass, very thinly sliced
½ tablespoon finely chopped garlic
½ lb boneless top round, sliced as thinly as possible against the grain
2 tablespoons fish sauce
2 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons Pahok juice (optional)
1 small shallot, thinly sliced
3 radishes, skin slightly peeled and thinly sliced
1 jalapeños, thinly sliced (optional)
1 cup mung bean sprouts
1/3 cup loosely packed fresh mint leaves
1/3 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves
2 tablespoons peanuts, roasted and coarsely chopped

Method:
Partly freeze the beef to make it a bit firm. This will enable easy handling and ease of thinly slicing the beef.

Combine half of the lime juice with 1 tablespoons of sugar, the lemongrass and half of the garlic in a medium bowl. Mix well, then add the beef, tossing to coat evenly, and set aside to marinate at room temperature for 25 to 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine the fish sauce, water, Pahok juice (if using) and the remaining sugar in a large mixing bowl. Mix until the sugar dissolves completely, then add the remaining lime juice, shallots, and the remaining garlic. Set aside.

Drain the beef, pressing gently with your hands to remove as much liquid as possible. At this point, you can either proceed with the next step, or like me, take it another step forward by bringing about 4 cups of water to a rolling boil and then add the beef to cook for just one minute. Remove and strain. Allow it to cool to the touch and press it gently to remove excess liquid.

Return the beef to the mixing bowl and add sliced radish, jalapenos, bean sprouts, mint, basil and half the chopped peanuts. Toss well. Transfer to a serving plate. Garnish the salad with sprinkles of peanut and serve.

Grilled Oysters with Spicy Lime Sauce

It’s been two days since I returned from my trip to Decatur, GA. I had a great time there. Toured many great places (will post pictures and video later) and had a chance to visit three different states while there. One of the highlights of this trip was cooking and eating with friends. We whipped up a lot of classic Cambodian dishes. If you were following me on twitter you probably saw my up-to-the-minute photos of those dishes. However, when I got back I was craving for something different, seafood. Unsure what triggered this craving but I was very happy when I picked up my mail and see that fresh oysters were on sale this week for only .50 cents each! It’s been a long time since I had grilled oysters.

Growing up in Stockton, CA my sister had a lot of gatherings with families and her friends. Oysters were pretty affordable there and they would buy them by the bag. I don’t know how many pounds there were but there were a lot in those bag. My Mother would sometime grill them and other times steam them. Some guest had their own way of making the sauce but my most favorite sauce to paired with grilled or steamed oysters in the shell is this spicy lime sauce. This sauce is very versatile and you can pair it with many grilled meats and seafood. It’s similar to the lime sauce that usually accompany Marinated Beef with Lime Sauce (aka Beef Lok Lac). The base is the same with a few extra ingredients added on. I’ve had it as dipping sauce as well where I simply grill some steak (un-seasoned), slice it thinly and wrap it in lettuce, cucumbers and fresh herbs then dunk it into the spicy lime sauce. DER-LICIOUS! :)


Grilled Oysters with Spicy Lime Sauce (for 10 oysters)
(Kjong Ang Tuk Jroluk Marech Kroach Chma)ខ្យងអាំងទឹកជ្រលកម្រេចក្រូចឆ្មារ

Ingredients
10 fresh oysters in their shell
½ cup lime juice
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
½ teaspoon sugar
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon crushed garlic
1 tablespoon finely chopped shallots
a handful of fresh chopped herbs (such as cilantro, basil, green onions, Asian mint)
water (optional)

Video Tutorial to make Spicy Lime Sauce:


Method:
Prepare the grill and meanwhile clean the oysters. Using a stiff brush scrub the oyster under cold running water. Make sure you scrub around the opening edges well. Rinse off any dirt off the shell.

Place the oysters on the grill so that none are overlapping. Place oysters so that they’re resting on their deeply curved halves of their shells so their juices don’t run out.

Grill for about 5-7 minutes or until the oysters starts to open. Carefully remove from grill.

To make the spicy lime sauce, in a bowl combine all remainder ingredients and mix well. Taste and adjust accordingly. If you feel that the lime is too strong for your taste you can dilute it with a couple teaspoons of water.

Some oysters might not open as wide as others therefore, you can use a fork to pry them open. Be careful, use kitchen towel if necessary. Serve on a half shell with some spicy lime sauce.

Easy Banana Fritters

What do you do when your banana turn spotty, black and overripe? Definitely do not throw them away. Save them for banana nut muffins, banana bread, and these easy banana fritters,. It takes only 5 minutes to put these ingredients together. They fry up in no time. This simple to make snack is pack with a sweet heavenly taste – wonderful bite of banana, soft, yet chewy in texture.


Easy Banana Fritters (makes about 20)
(Jake Jean Ngeay Sroul)
ចេកចៀនងាយស្រូល

Ingredients
2 large over-ripe bananas (or 3 medium size)
½ cup sugar
a pinch of salt
a dash of pure vanilla extract
1 ½ cup self rising flour, sifted
¼ cup of oil for frying

Method:
Mash banana and set aside.

In a mixing bowl add flour, add sugar, salt, vanilla extract, mashed bananas.

Use a fork or a whisk to mix them all together making sure that the overall mixture is neither too dry nor too wet.

Heat the oil and turn it back down to medium then drop tablespoonfuls of the mixture into it. Flip and fry until both sides turns a golden brown, scoop it up and drain it well.

Panko Crusted Fish with Lemongrass Chili Sauce


I got my inspiration for this dish after wandering along the frozen fish section of Costco. Some fish fillets cost up to $20 a bag! What I did was glance over and saw some of their frozen already crusted fish and immediately thought about my dinner. It’s been so long since I left Costco will less than $20 out of my pocket. Normally I drop close to $100 each visit. So very glad I can resist my temptation this time. :) Wonder I was end up getting? Definitely not those crusted fish fillets but a bag of bananas, a carton or eggs, 3 cucumbers and a case (12 cans) of corn kernels which I have yet to decide what to do with them.

Panko bread is a variety of bread crumb used in Japanese cuisine as a crunchy coating for fried foods. Panko is made from bread without crusts, thus it has a crisper, airier texture than most types of bread crumbs found in Western groceries. It flavorless really, and does not absorb as much oil when cook. Since my Lemongrass Chili sauce is a bit heavy on flavor I decided leave my fillets plain but with the crispy texture. You can choose to marinade the fish fillets first with a flavor of choice and then just coat it with the flour, egg and panko bread crumbs.

Panko Crusted Fish with Lemongrass Chili Sauce (Serves 2)
(Trey Jean Sroeuy Nung Tuk Mtess Kroeung) ត្រីចៀនស្រួយនិងទឹកម្ទេសគ្រឿង

Ingredients
2 fish fillets, I used tilapia
¼ cup rice flour, or any flour
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/3 cup panko bread crumbs
¼ cup oil for frying
green onions for garnish

Lemongrass Chili Sauce

2 tablespoons oil
1/2 small onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoon Khmer Kroeung
1 tablespoon red pepper powder
1 teaspoon crush red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon fish sauce

Method:
Rinse the fillets and pat dry. Make a station with 3 separate large plates one for flour, egg and panko bread crumbs. Use one hand (the dry hand) to dust the flour on lightly then move to the next station and drench the floured fillet with your other hand (wet hand). On the 3rd station return your dry hand and coat with panko bread crumbs. Press them in lightly so they stick to the fillet. Repeat this process until all fillets are done, set aside.

Heat oil in a frying pan and once they are hot add the fillets and fry them. Watch carefully as the bread crumbs tend to brown pretty quick. Adjust heat accordingly. You can start with med-high heat and then crank it up toward the end to get a nice golden brown crust. Cook both side and allow to rest on paper towel to remove excess oil, which should not be much.

Next, make the lemongrass chili sauce but heating oil and added diced onions. Stir and cook until soften then add garlic. Give it a quick stir to release it’s flavor and aroma. Do the same with the Khmer Kroeung. Adjust the heat accordingly so the ingredients does not burn. Add the remainder ingredients and finish off with several stirs. If you find the sauce a bit thick you can add more oil. Taste and adjust the flavors to your liking.

Plate it up and garnish with green onion. Serve with steamed rice.

Grilled Cornish Hen with Momofuku Octo Vinaigrette

I enjoy cooking but I have my lazy days as well. The other day I picked up a bag of frozen wings section because I wanted to make Buffalo Wings. While the wings were in the oven, I came online to catch up on blogs that I follow. One of my favorite food writer is Jaden Hair of Steamy Kitchen. She specializing in Asian cooking–recipes that are fast fresh and simple enough for tonight’s dinner. She also has her own cookbook called The Steamy Kitchen Cookbook currently available online and many bookstore shelves, sadly I can’t afford it so I sat in a corner and read it through. I love her writing style and the personal stories she adds to the recipes. One of her recent blog post featured the octo vinaigrette from Momofuku Cookbook by David Chang and Peter Meehan, which I do not own, again for the same reason. David Chang is the owner of not one but apparently three restaurants! I’ve never been to any of them, yet. :) Many of the food blogs I follow mentioned David Chang or Momofuku every now and then but it was at Steamy Kitchen Chicken Wings, Momofuku Style, where I found the recipe for the octo vinaigrette. That day the Buffalo Wings sauce was replaced with the octo vinaigrette. It was so easy to make and taste so good! I was too eager to test the wings that I didn’t get a chance to snap a shot.

This evening I decided to grill a small one pound Cornish hen (game hen) with octo vinaigrette again. A bit of butter was rub to achieve that extra crispy skin. I did tweak the octo vinaigrette a little to suit my taste bud. The thought of 2 tablespoons full of oil in a vinaigrette sort of frightens me. Instead I only use 1 tablespoon of sesame oil. Also I ran out of red bird’s eye chili so I used the leftover green ones instead, seed and all. I did however, add chopped red bell pepper for color and a little extra crunch. Lettuce leaves were used as garnish but they end up as wrappers for the chicken and dipped into the vinaigrette, or in this case a sauce? 😀 Perhaps next time I might just add some rice noodles in the mix. 😛

Grilled Cornish with Momofuku Octo Vinaigrette
(Mon Ang Nung Tuk Jroluk Kngey Ktum​ Saw) ម៉ាន់អាំងទឹកជ្រលក់ខ្ញីខ្ទឹមសរ
adapt from Momofuku Cookbook via Steamy Kitchen

Ingredients
1 Cornish hen, 16 oz/1 lb
1 tablespoon butter

Octo Vinaigrette
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh garlic
2 tablespoons chopped peeled fresh ginger
7 bird’s eye chili (use less, omit, or remove seeds to reduce the heat)
¼ cup rice wine vinegar
¼ cup light soy sauce
1 tablespoon Asian sesame oil
1 ½ tablespoons sugar
freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon chopped red bell pepper (optional)

Method:

Split hen in half with a sharp knife or poultry shears, cutting through the breast bone and back bone. Wash and rinse chicken, pat dry with paper towel. This can be done in advance and allow the chicken to dry in the fridge with a paper towel.

Cut up 1 tablespoon of butter into small pieces and rub it all over the chicken. Insert some pieces under the skin too. Grill with skin side up for about 20 minutes then flip to grill on the other side (skin side).

Meanwhile make the octo vinaigrette by combining all the ingredients and mixing them well.

Once the henis grilled remove from heat and allow to rest for about 5 minutes.

Lay lettuce leaves on a platter and arrange hen. Drizzle octo vinaigrette on the top and also reserve on the side for dipping .

Durian Muffins

This year Valentine’s Day also happen to coincide with the Chinese New Year, year of the Tiger Grrrr. 😀 While many might be out celebrating I wander into the kitchen at 8:30PM and began pulling out my flour and muffin pan in attempt to try and make Num Doat Toorain នុំដត់ធុរ៉េន durian muffins, a recipe adapt from my Banana Nut Muffin which was originally adapt from Foodnetwork.com.

My first attempt failed. :( It was after everything was combined when I realized that I had used self-rising flour and used a tablespoon to measure out baking powder instead of a teaspoon. I reduce the amount of sugar thinking that the durian probably is too sweet already. I also notice that the batter was stiff, so very different from my Banana Nut Muffin batter. Then comes my shortage of muffin pan. I had a 6 muffin pan and didn’t feel like baking them twice so I over-fill them intentionally. Nevertheless, I continued on and hope for the best. Well, the outcome was not good. The muffin was a bit under-cooked. I could still taste the flour even after it pass the toothpick test. What went wrong? I end up shaving the bottom of the muffins off and sort of pick and eat the muffin top because I had fill them with some durian pulp.

I was contemplating whether I should try again last night. The wait for the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics prime-time pair figure skating to air was too long so in between I took my time and measured my ingredients carefully. I made a couple of adjustments – use less baking powder, up the sugar to ½ cup, add ¼ cup milk to thin out the batter. spread it to 12 muffins instead of 6. Again, fingers-crossed once it was in the baking oven.

The sweet aroma smell filled my house and I instantly smiled because it didn’t happen the night before. I had hope this time. When 25 minutes was up, I carefully sneak and peek and see that the edges had brown beautifully so I promptly removed it and allow it to rest. It wasn’t for long because I was too anxious to do a taste test. Then it was “eyes opened wide” and jaw dropping moment followed by “WOW”! It taste amazing! It reminds me of my Mother’s Bai Domnub Toorain បាយដំណើបធុរ៉េន​ Sticky Rice with Durian Pudding. I am using frozen durian for this recipe. If you have access to fresh durian then by all means, use it. If using frozen durian like me then allow it to defrost first.

Durian Muffins (makes 12 regular size muffins)
(Num Doat Toorain) នុំដុតធុរ៉េន

Ingredients
1 cup flour, sifted
¾ teaspoon baking powder
½ cup sugar
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg
¼ cup milk
1 lb (16oz) durian meat, divided

Method:
Preheat oven to 375F degrees. Use non-stick muffin pan or arrange baking cups in a muffin pan.

Mash half of the durian with a fork in a small bowl so they still have a bit of texture. Set aside.

In a mixing bowl add sifted flour, baking powder and sugar. Combine well.

Next make a well in the middle and add melted butter, vanilla extract, egg, milk and the remainder durian meat. Beat the ingredients with an electric mixer for 3 minutes or until all ingredients are mixed together.

Spoon the batter into each of the baking cup and fill about halfway. Give them a tap on the counter to get any air bubbles out.

Scoop out some durian pulp was was set aside and top it off.
Note: Another method is to fill the batter a little on the bottom, then add a scoop of the durain pulp in the middle and continue to fill it with batter. This method will cause the muffin to rise a bit higher since there is no durian pulp weighing it down.

Bake for 25 minutes. The beautiful aroma will fill your kitchen. The sides will turn brown. Allow to cool before diving into them.

Fish Congee | Fish Rice Porridge

For the past 2-weeks I’ve been having major, major problems trying to fall asleep and staying asleep til morning. I find myself walking up after 2-3 hours and this goes on through the night. Perhaps too many stuff is wandering in my head during the day that sort of creep up and followed me into my sleep. It’s causing me to have breakouts and triggers my dermatitis problems again. I really need to do something about it. I know that getting a good night sleep is crucial for a healthy weight, beautiful skin and not to mention a healthy and bright mind.

Last night was no difference and I end up turning in to bed way past midnight. I need to remind myself not to take late showers because the strange sounds from the water heater, which is right in front of my bedroom door, is scaring the crap out of me. I’m paranoid thinking that someone is walking or knocking at my door in the middle of the freaking’ night! CRAZY!

I woke up early this morning and made some Baw Baw Trey បបរត្រី, Fish Congee (Rice Porridge). This is more of a Chinese style congee due to it’s simplicity and the ingredients being use. The Cambodian version, at least the one I remembered my Mother use to make, use fish sauce, sugar, as some of the ingredients. It was also topped off with salted soy beans, and mung bean sprouts. If you don’t like fish, you can also try firm tofu or try my basic Congee | Rice porridge recipe with your favorite toppings. Maybe it’s my eating habits that is effecting my sleep? So here is a start to healthy eating and a better night sleep.

Fish Rice Porridge (makes 2 servings)
(Baw Baw Trey) បបរត្រី

Ingredients

3 tablespoons medium or long grain rice
3-3½ cups of water
1 fish fillet (I used tilapia)
1 inch ginger, thinly slice then cut into long strips
1 piece salted turnip, dice (optional)
1 green onion (scallion) leaf, thinly slice
a wedge of lime (optional)

Fish Marinade

1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon Chinese cooking wine (Shaoxing wine)
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon corn starch
2-3 dash white peper

Method:
Add rice and water into a pot and bring to a boil. Allow to boil for about 10 minutes then reduce to a low simmer, cover partially so that it doesn’t spill over. Stir occasionally making sure the grains doesn’t stick to the bottom. Cook for 45 minutes until you reach the desire consistency. If it’s too thick, add more water. If it’s too thin, you can also remove some liquid.

Make marinade and add to thinly slice fish. Marinade for about 10 minutes.

About 2-3 minutes before rice porridge is done add the marinade fish into the pot. Stir to combine. Cover and continue to cook. Fish is very delicate and since it was sliced thinly, it takes very little time to cook.

Ladle fish congee (rice porridge) to a bowl. Add ginger strips, green onion, salted turnip (if using). You can also add another dash of white pepper and/or drizzle some more soy sauce and sesame oil.

Serve hot with a wedge of lime.

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